Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Starting the Semester with 20%

The official start to my Fall semester began with my ed tech class Digital Media Production and Storytelling. This class is about using digital tools to amplify storytelling. Following Google's example, our class will devote 20% of our time to working on our own educational technology projects. I was excited to hear this; however, some of my classmates did not share my excitement. I can understand why: such a project can be a little scary because you're finding yourself pushed to actually do something with a project or idea that was originally just whirling around in your head. On the other hand, it can cause panic if you can't think of a project to work on straight out of the gate. I wonder if Google employees feel the same way or if they jump at the chance to invest company resources into their own passions. I'm looking forward to working on this side project because it's going to give me a chance to make ideas come to life and isn't that what teachers are supposed to be doing anyway?

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Craziness of Steve Jobs

In the wake of Steve Jobs resigning Apple's CEO, his quotes have been widely spread from social media sites to news channels. I have read plenty of these the last few days but none have touched me as much as this one:

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square hole. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

Go on and dream; be a little crazy; color outside the lines. You never know the impact it could have. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Week of Google Goodness

Last week I had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant for a week long Google workshop for a small group of educators. The workshop was an excellent chance to share Google tools while learning about tools that I hadn't used myself. The biggest thing I took away from this week is that as an educator, you don't have to have all the answers. Discussions and sharing resources led to the teachers learning new and innovative ways to implement Google tools in their classroom. My hope is that as all of these teachers prepare for the upcoming school year that they implement these tools, tricks and tips to increase student engagement and love of learning.

Here are the two presentations I did on Google+ and Google Mobile:

Thursday, August 4, 2011 - A Great Tool for Curating

After attending an amazing presentation at ISTE, I have been really fascinated by digital curation. What is digital curation? According to Wikipedia, it is "the process of establishing and developing long term repositories of digital assets for current and future reference by researchers, scientists, historians, and scholars." Of all the tools I learned about for curating, my favorite is

What is it? is a platform that allows users to collect media centered around a specific topic. Once a topic is created searches for and suggests content that matches that topic. This content can also be shared on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. My favorite feature of is the "scoop it" button that can be added to your web browser allowing you to quickly add the websites you're viewing to your page. Students can even create their own pages and begin building their own curation skills. in the Classroom: is a great way for teachers to accumulate resources on a particular topic. First, they create the topic.  Then, they search's suggested content, the Internet or their social bookmarking site to find all the websites that pertain to that topic and add it to their collection. Now, they have one place for all of their resources that students can go to. Teachers can even follow other topics and find content to add to their own page.

Here is a sample of one I've built on the future of storytelling: